Union clinch playoff berth thanks to results elsewhere Saturday in MLS
It’s the fourth straight season that the Union have made the playoffs, after reaching the postseason just twice in their first seven seasons.
The Union clinched a playoff spot Saturday night thanks to results elsewhere in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.
The New York Red Bulls’ 1-0 win at home over Club de Foot Montréal late in the afternoon and the Columbus Crew’s 3-1 win at D.C. United at night created enough of a gap in the standings below the Union (13-8-11, 50 points) that they can no longer fall out of the top seven.
It’s the fourth straight season that the Union have made the playoffs, after reaching the postseason just twice in their first seven seasons (2011 and 2016).
“It is a great accomplishment to reach the playoffs, and one that has become a standard for this club,” Union manager Jim Curtin said in a statement. “It is expected of this team to advance to the postseason and the work has just begun. We are now going to fight to keep a top seed in the conference and to get as many home [playoff] games as possible.”
But it’s a safe bet that there wasn’t much celebrating in the team’s group chats as they watched results come in. New York City FC’s 3-1 win at Inter Miami on Saturday afternoon didn’t just clinch a playoff spot for the Pigeons, it knocked the Union down to fourth place.
That’s the last place in the standings that gets a first-round home game, but whichever team advances would then play at the New England Revolution, who have already clinched the Supporters’ Shield and set a league single-season points record (22-4-7, 73 points).
The Union host MLS’ worst team, FC Cincinnati, Sunday night at Subaru Park (7:30 p.m., PHL17), then finish the regular season against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium — where they’ve never won in six visits (a tie in 2015 and five losses since) — on Nov. 7.
The playoffs start Nov. 20, with first-round games spread from Nov. 20-23.
» READ MORE: Sergio Santos is injured again, and is likely out of Sunday’s game against FC Cincinnati
MLS Eastern Conference standings
Here’s how the standings looked at the end of Saturday’s action for the playoff contenders. The tiebreakers are, in order: total wins, goal difference, then goals scored.
1. New England Revolution: 22-4-7, 73 points (clinched Supporters’ Shield)
2. Nashville SC: 12-4-16, 52 points (clinched playoff berth)
3. New York City FC: 14-11-8, 50 points (clinched playoff berth)
4. Union: 13-8-11, 50 points (clinched playoff berth)
5. Atlanta United: 12-9-11, 47 points, +7 goal difference
6. Orlando City: 12-9-11, 47 points, 0 goal difference
7. New York Red Bulls: 13-12-7, 46 points
8. D.C. United: 44 points, 13-5-5
9. Columbus Crew: 44 points, 12-13-8
10. Club de Foot Montréal: 11-11-10, 43 points
Inter Miami, the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC and FC Cincinnati have been eliminated.